SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Sitting Democrat South Bend Common Council member Henry Davis Jr. made a bombshell announcement on Friday, endorsing the Republican candidate for his current seat. Davis, who is not running for re-election to South Bend’s 2nd District, snubbed Democrat Candidate Ophelia Gooden-Rodgers and instead endorsed Republican Roosevelt Stewart.
“I’m endorsing the person.” Davis said during a news conference in the County-City Building Friday morning. “Mr. Roosevelt Stewart genuinely cares for South Bend. The 2nd District deserves a fighter and independent thinker because the St. Joseph Democratic Party has failed black people and failed to uplift its most loyal base of voters.”
Davis cited Stewart’s leadership in the community, willingness to work toward common goals and his work on truly learning about the needs of the residents in the second district. He then lambasted the Democrats for attacks they have levied against Stewart in recent months.
“Mayor James Mueller and the Democratic Party have worked to perpetuate a negative (story) that Mr. Stewart is an abuser before he has had his day in court.” Davis said. “I do not like how the Mayor and the Democratic Party are exploiting Mr. Stewart’s situation. This feels racist. They are criminalizing this black man before he has his day in court.”
In August, Stewart was arrested and charged after a domestic violence accusation involving his teenage daughter. Sources tell RNM that case should be dismissed within the next couple of months.
“Everything that has been reported is not accurate.” Stewart said to RNM. “While I’m not at liberty to discuss details of the active case, I’m confident it will be dismissed in the near future. I am an innocent man.”
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